Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Day of 2007

Good Morning! I woke up this morning to the lovely sound of the snowplow shoving snow into my driveway. Will it ever end??? We've already beaten the record of the most snow in December (somewhere around 35 inches, I lost count) and Christmas is over. So, I think we can all start thinking SPRING, right? And if the 5 inches of snow that fell last night isn't enough, we are getting another 6 inches tomorrow night. What a wonderful start to the new year that will be.

It is still snowing lightly out there and the weather dude said it will be stopping shortly so I will get my boots on in a bit and get out there to clean the snow off of my car. Then I will be ready to move it at a moments notice so Billy can plow my driveway. It's already above freezing so maybe the sun will come out and melt some of this. This is the view outside my picture window right beside me this morning.



I also took a couple of shots while standing on my front porch. I will readily admit, it sure is pretty. One is of my front yard and another is looking across the road to my neighbors house. You can just barely see the antenna from my car in the first shot.





I don't have any big New Year's Eve plans for tonight. I really don't like to be out on the roads especially when people have been out drinking and I can't remember the last time I actually went out to a club or to a dress up New Year's Eve party, but it had to be quite awhile ago when my kids were young. I may just stay home and watch a movie tonight. I remember one year I wallpapered my bathroom. LOL How's that for an exciting evening? I can assure you, I won't be doing that tonight.
Tomorrow I will be going to my parents house for dinner. My parents always get a huge spread of Chinese food and have the whole family over. I know my kids won't be there because they will probably be hungover, but that just means more crab rangoon for me. :-)

I may as well lace up my boots and get outside. It's getting pretty bright out there. Maybe the sun will poke through the clouds well before noon.

I want to wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous 2008.

Friday, December 28, 2007

After Christmas Sales

Just a quick post today. Not much going on but my first week of vacation is over. Wow how the time flew by. One more week to go and I am sure it too will be over before I know it.

I woke up to a little snow on the ground this morning. We only got about an inch or so and it was heavy wet snow. The snow was stuck to the trees and it looked really pretty outside. I should have taken some pics but I was in a bit of a rush so I never thought to grab my camera.

I met Cyndie for coffee and then we hit the after Christmas sales. I managed to get 20 new ornaments for my tree for next year for $5.00 Everything at one store was 70% off and I got wrapping paper and cards at another store for 50% off. I also found some really pretty gold and red ribbon for under a dollar a roll. Now I just hope I remember where I put it when the time comes to wrap and decorate next year.

I wanted to hit the Mall but when we got close to it, the traffic was horrible and it looked like everyone and their brother was going to the same place. We decided to pass and went to Wal-Mart instead. Sara really liked the pajama pants I got her for Christmas so I wanted to pick up another pair for her. It was slim pickings but I managed to find one more pair in her size. I also got a great deal on 12 packs of coke and diet coke, 3 12 packs of 12 oz cans for $8.00. Since I got 3 bottles of Rum for Christmas, I definitely need the coke to go with it.

We also took a ride around Manchester because Cyndie and her husband are looking into buying a house and I wanted to show her a few really nice areas to look at. She hasn't lived in Manchester for long and didn't know these spots even existed and she was really pleased. After an hour or so of riding, I dropped her off at her apartment and stopped at the grocery store for a few things before coming home. It was pretty nice outside today, definitely over 40 degrees, and there was a lot of melting going on. We've got a couple of nuisance storms coming in the next few days so we should be able to pass the snowfall record for December. I think we are only an inch or so shy of doing just that.

I got a gift card for a 6 month subscription for Netflix for Christmas and I was wondering if anyone has ever used this movie service. I've heard all good things about it and it seems pretty easy to use. Just wondering if anyone had any experience with it. I'm going to register in a bit and check it out. I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a great Friday evening.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Post Christmas Eggnog

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I certainly did. Christmas Eve was spent with the entire family at my mom and dad's home. It was a fun and crazy evening that lasted longer than usual because everyone had someplace else to go either before or after. We all made our little Christmas Eve side trips around the neighborhood and most of us ended up back at mom and dad's. I grew up in that neighborhood so many years ago and still have friends there. I always make sure I visit a select few that I don't get to see very often.
Back at mom's we play cards, we eat, we laugh and catch up we have to allow my brother to be a "Japanese tourist" and play with his digital camera, we eat some more, and we pick on my other brother, (because we can and it is expected). Eventually we open gifts and someone usually gets a new board or card game that we have to play. The Secret Santa gift exchange was a success so we will do that again next year. By the time we all head home, it is usually midnight. My younger brother takes his kids to Midnight Mass and sometimes I go along with him. This year I passed since I wanted to go Christmas Morning to the church near my home. By the time Sara and I got home, we were about ready for our jammies and bed.

I got up early Christmas Morning and made some coffee, took a shower and started preparations for Christmas dinner. I picked up my friend Theresa and her grand- daughter and we went to Mass. When I got home, Sara was up and had started breakfast. Eric and Jessie arrived, we all ate french toast, bacon, fruit, and opened presents. Eric was extremely happy with the Bruins tickets I got him and I think I shocked Sara with the concert tickets. She was very surprised and thanked me again yesterday. Eric and Jessie had to leave around 4 to have dinner with her family and Sara and I watched a movie until her boyfriend Brad arrived from Massachusetts. We sat down for dinner shortly after that and I then gave Brad his gifts. I don't think he was expecting anything, so he was surprised. I didn't spend much, just a few little things I thought he would like. He was especially happy with the slippers. After I bought them, Sara told me that he asked his mother for some slippers so she had to go on the sly and tell her not to get him any because I already had. He apparently was all bummed out Christmas morning because he didn't get any. LOL

Yesterday I went up North to visit my friend Rose. She looks fantastic, although her hair has grown in all curly and unruly, which normally would bug the hell out of her because she likes everything in it's place. However, since recovering from cancer, those things no longer bother her and she is just happy to be alive and to have hair again. I talk to her every week on the phone, but I don't get to see her as often as I would like so it is such a treat to be able to spend an entire afternoon with her. Her husband, Steve, made sure there was a nice fire in the fireplace since he knows how much I enjoy that, and we talked and talked and talked some more. (That's what we always did best anyway) LOL

I did get some bad news right before Christmas. My little Chihuahua has lost his vision. I had been noticing he wasn't as fast on his feet lately and had started bumping into the table legs and misjudged jumping on the sofa. I took him in to the Vet's office on Monday and she did several tests to see if he had detached retina's, which seem to be in tact. It could be degenerative, or caused by some other health problem. She took a blood sample and tested him for all sorts of things. Last night she called to say she didn't find anything directly related to the vision loss, but he does have a low thyroid level. He was also borderline on the cholesterol. His blood pressure was a little high but she didn't feel that was an accurate reading because he normally is a bundle of energy when he is in the office so she would want to be able to check that again when he is calmer. His blood sugar was fine so no diabetes. I have a couple of options, although I am not sure what I will do at this time. I could go to see an opthamologist and perhaps she could find out the exact cause of his blindness. I say perhaps, because there's a possibility that she won't be able to tell me anything more than what I already know. My Vet feels that his vision is gone...that there isn't anything that can be done to get it back or improve it so surgery isn't really an option. However, this happened pretty fast so I am curious as to why. It is possible she will find something regarding his overall health that we can't see with just bloodwork. He's only 8 years old and would be considered middle aged. So he's got a lot of life yet to live. He gets around pretty well, although I won't be moving any of the furniture any time soon.
I will be taking him back in to see Dr Lesley next week to have some more bloodwork done regarding the thyroid issue. He might need to be on meds to keep that corrected but we will know more about that later.
As for now, I will baby him a bit and maybe put some padding on the table legs. My mom had a cat who was partially blind and she managed quite well for several years. Maybe I should get Hunter a seeing eye cat?? :-)

I have the rest of the week off and all of next week too. Today will be the first day I have nothing planned so I plan on doing nothing. I got some books and movies for Christmas so I will have plenty to keep me entertained.

Oh it is snowing again by the way. Nothing much right now but if we get at least 1 inch of snow, we will pass our record for snowfall in December. How freeking exciting! I was just starting to see the doghouse and the picnic table out back.

I think I will make some coffee and kick back on the sofa with the pooch in my lap. I have several books to choose from and today seems like a good day to get some reading done.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Welcome To My Winter Wonderland

Just a few photos of my back and front yard after the last snowstorm.


The Backyard


There's a picnic table and dog house under all that snow.


The back porch. Good thing I have a dryer to dry my clothes.


Looking out the front window.


Looking out the side window.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More Snow

Ok whoever is paying Mother Nature to play this sick joke on the Northeast...enough!! Knock it off. Winter doesn't officially start until tomorrow and we've just been slammed with another big snowstorm. Another foot of snow has fallen here since 4:00 yesterday afternoon. It is just now showing signs of stopping. That makes over 30 inches of the white stuff on the ground in a week. If this keeps up, I will be spending most of my Christmas bonus on snow plowing.
At least today's storm didn't seem to be as bad as last Thursday's. And I have to admit, it sure is pretty outside. It wasn't as bad driving as it was last week either.
So we got 8-9 inches of snow last Thursday, about 10-12 inches on Sunday and another foot today. Even the snow fell all day today, it was light and powdery most of the time and only did it start getting wet and heavy by mid afternoon when it started warming up. I did a bit of driving in it this afternoon and this evening and as long as you used some caution, it wasn't bad at all. I took the opportunity to finish my shopping this evening, since a lot of people would stay home because of the weather. I'm glad I did, because now I can take care of other things that need my attention this weekend, like wrapping and baking.

We had a little Christmas party at work today and for the most part, we didn't get a whole lot of work done. Some people elected to go out for lunch and some ordered food in, but my department wanted to make stuff and bring it in to share. I made chicken and tuna salad finger sandwiches and my boss Sue made ham salad finger sandwiches. Cyndie made meatballs and Hali made deviled eggs and pasta salad. Then there was the desserts. Brownies, cookies, and a couple of different cakes. Sylvie made peanut butter and chocolate fudge. Bonnie made a rum cake (which was my favorite treat of the day). We exchanged Secret Santa gifts, presented Sue with a basket of gifts and gave Dave his gifts too. I think the snow also helped put everyone in a festive mood. We all had a really good time today and I am very thankful for the group of people I work directly with everyday. It makes going to work a whole lot easier to take.

After work I went to my parents house to drop off some things for my mother, and ended up staying for dinner. I wasn't really hungry but had a little meatloaf and a salad with the family. We also finalized plans for Christmas Eve which will be spent at my folks house with all of the immediate family and a few extras in attendance. After dinner I headed over to Kohl's and finished my shopping. I have set a goal to get everything wrapped tomorrow since I have the time off. No excuses.

I was very happy to see that my driveway had been plowed. I had to shovel where the plow couldn't get and tomorrow I will need to shovel around my mailbox since it is nearly impossible to get close to it now. I am about ready to jump into my jammies and head for the television. It's been a long day and I expect I will be asleep in no time tonight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Eating Tips for the Christmas Season




Eating Tips for the Christmas Season

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it!!!! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello???

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa , position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and sweet potato - have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like apple, have two sweet potatoes and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO what a ride!"
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! Merry Christmas!! Happy Chanukah!! and lastly Bah Humbug!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Winter Parfait

Greetings from snowy and cold New Hampshire. We are under a Major Winter Storm Event or as one of the local weathermen said...A Winter Parfait. Sounds a hell of a lot nicer than it is. I think he's sugarcoating his forecast! LOL
I don't know what time it started snowing but it was coming down pretty hard when I woke up around 6:30. I'd say there is about 2 inches on the ground now and we are expecting anywhere from 5-10 inches here before it changes over to sleet, freezing rain and possibly all rain. Areas north and west of here will be getting a foot of snow or more with this system. I'd rather have all snow than to deal with the ice. But since I am not going anywhere today, I'm just praying the power won't be affected and we can have heat and running water.

I went into work yesterday morning for a few hours to finish up a project that is due on Tuesday. I am anticipating bad road conditions on Monday and I am not sure I will be able to get to work so I decided to get things done and not have to worry about it. It only took me a couple of hours and then I was free to get some errands done. My daughter has been staying with me this weekend (more on that later) and she had expressed a desire to get some shopping done so I came home to pick her up. She was still asleep. I made breakfast, ate, did the dishes, watched some television and finally sent the dog to wake her up. It was after noon...and she was so grouchy. I wish I had just done my thing before coming home, believe me.
We finally got out of here by 2 and we headed out to the seacoast to pick up a gift certificate for my parents at a seafood restaurant they like to go to. I then asked her where she wanted to shop. She said she didn't know what to get the remaining people on her list and she didn't really have any money anyway so I should just go where I needed to go. If I didn't have to have my hands on the steering wheel...they would have been around her throat. I was already a little ticked off at her because she called me Thursday night announcing she was staying the weekend to hang out with me and to clean her room out, only to make plans with her friends an hour after she got here and off she went. She didn't even realize that I had changed my plans so I could spend Friday night with her. She can be very selfish sometimes and that is something that I am constantly reminding her about. Apparently it's not sinking in.

I got as much shopping done as I could and we got home around 4. I had a Christmas Party to get ready for, and she was going to get started on writing a paper to submit with her Grad School application which she has been putting off. I showered and got dressed and headed out.

I wasn't even going to go to this party for a very stupid reason...I hate going to things like this by myself. I have several co workers who were going but they all have spouses and/or escorts and I just didn't want to be sitting with them all as the fifth wheel. They all like to get up and dance and I just feel like someone always sits out because they don't want me to sit by myself. So I had originally passed on the event. But a co worker of mine invited me to go along with her in place of her boyfriend who couldn't make it. She was a bit depressed at the thought of going alone so what the hell...we may as well go together and have a good time. I'm glad I went. It was held at the Raddison which is very chic...and everyone looked so nice. The place was festively decorated and there was Christmas music in the background. I met up with my friends who were already there saving a seat for me and we got drinks and helped ourselves to the appetizers of bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, cheese, fruit and these tasty little buttery crackers. For dinner I had Filet Mignon with garlic red potatoes, and broccolini and there was some kind of chocolate cake for dessert. I only had a bite because I was so full but it tasted delicious. I had already had a couple of drinks at this point and on my way to the bar for another, I ran into some co workers who now work in another building. I don't get to see them often so I went back to their table to visit for a bit and ended up with a drink in my hand and 2 others on the table in front of me. Since it is a shame to waste good liquor, I finished one and then grabbed the other two and made my way back to my original table. By now, the dinner dishes had been cleared and dancing was underway. I was sitting by myself enjoying the rum and people watching when I was approached by some guy I don't know at all and up on the dance floor I went. I am NOT a dancer...I am clumsy and have two left feet, but my partner seemed to be challenged in that area too so it was all good. I later found out his name is Greg and he was a guest of someone who works with me although I don't know who she is either. There are about 800 people who work for my company in 3 different buildings so there are a lot of people I don't know. Anyway we danced a few more times during the course of the evening and it was fun. I hardly saw my other friends the whole night. They were up dancing most of the evening and it was hard to find anyone since there was about 1000 people there. But I wasn't bored and I really had a nice time. I ended up calling it a night around 11 and I came home. I had pretty much sobered up by then so there was no need to worry about driving and certainly no need to avoid the baby gate when I got home. LOL I am rug burn free, Denise...just to let you know.

When I got home, my daughter was no where to be found. LOL Her room still hadn't been cleaned and I doubt she wrote one sentence of her paper. I went to bed and heard her come in around 1am. She's still asleep and I imagine she will be in bed until after noon. She will probably be staying here again tonight since the weather is lousy and she won't want to drive home in this. Maybe she can get that room sorted out today. *insert eyeroll here*

The reason she needs to clean out some of the junk in that room is because she is considering moving back home and her new bed and other things she has in her apartment will no way fit in her room as it is now. I want her to make a few trips to Goodwill and drop off her old clothes and things she no longer uses. I have made room in the spare bedroom for the twin bed that is in her room now and instead of putting my other desk in the spare room I will leave it in the office area so she can use it for her PC. I told her she isn't moving one thing into this house until she cleans her last mess. (Heaven help me)

It's time to refill my coffee cup and make some breakfast. I hope you all are staying warm and enjoying the snow from INSIDE the house.

~L~

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Little Bad Weather

The weather outside is frightful...
To say the least. The trace of snow I heard about last night on the news has turned into about 6 inches of soft powdery snow with more to follow. It started snowing around 1PM. The snow was falling rather lightly but that quickly changed and by 1:30 it was coming down like gangbusters. I had a short meeting with my boss at 2 and once that was over, I cleaned up, shut down my computer and headed home. I don't know if leaving an hour earlier than usual was a good idea but I thought it was at the time. Apparently everyone else did too because traffic was bumper to bumper and it took me 2 hours to get home! Normally a 30 minute trip on a good day and I kid you not, I got home at 4:30. The roads were slick and the plows were out so everyone was going slow which is good mind you, not complaining about that. Better to be safe than sorry. I did have some wonderful Christmas music to entertain me on the ride. (Josh Grobin's new Christmas CD) And I made it home in one piece so I am also happy about that. I was very very happy to see my driveway and I got the car backed into a spot, grabbed my mail and went inside. I stripped off my boots and changed out of my wet jeans, and heated up some leftover chicken pot pie. I'm quite comfortable for now, and I am just hoping the power doesn't go out tonight. It's only 17 degrees outside and I really don't want to try to sleep with no heat tonight.

Today was a very good day otherwise. I got my performance review and did very well. I got a small promotion to Line Co-Ordinator, which also gave me a nice raise, effective on Monday. Today was also the day we got our Christmas cards and gifts from the owners of the company. We all received a fleece blanket that has the company name and logo embroidered on it and a big glossy calendar which features all of the products that we provide to the military. The product my department builds has the centerfold position. Almost as important as being on the cover, I would say! LOL In our Christmas cards there was a nice fat bonus check. I was pleasantly surprised and very happy to see that!! We always get gifts and cards but we don't always get bonuses. I am going to put half of it into the bank and pay off the charges I made on my credit card for Christmas and I am keeping some for myself so I can pick up a few things I may not get for Christmas. The rest is going into my savings account. After buying 500 gallons of heating oil and paying my property taxes, the ole savings account needs a little lift!

Speaking of Christmas, I am almost finished with my shopping. I got a lot done earlier this week by going right after work on Monday and Tuesday. I just have to pick up a gift certificate for my parents at their favorite restaurant and I still need to get something for Jessie. I'm still undecided about that. I guess I am going to just have to do some shopping and hope that something jumps out at me. I am running out of time, so I will force myself to get it done on Saturday. I think I'll hit Kohl's and pray. :-) I also have to get a little something for my Secret Santa gift for work. I was lucky enough to get Cyndie's name and I know just the place to shop for her. It will require another trip to the Mall (ugh) but if I go Monday after work, it won't be crowded. She loves to cook and bake and she loves all kinds of kitchen gadgets so I know I can't miss if I go to the Kitchen Store.

I know I promised pictures and I did take some but I didn't like them so I am now charging my camera and I will take some more. Will post them as soon as I can.

I think I'd best jump in the shower while I still have electricity. (We folks who live in the boonies need electricity to pump the water from our wells to the water tanks, I think we covered this before but some may need a refresher.)
I hope you are all staying warm and dry. I also hope Styxie gets her wish and the foot of snow I am rerouting to her this weekend. :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas

Let's all believe that reindeer fly,
That santa will be stopping by,
That hope and peace and Christmas cheer,
Will last throughout the coming year.
Merry Christmas!!!!!!


Happy Holidays to all my nutty friends.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Busy Busy Weekend

I've been busy since the minute I woke up this morning and still have a lot to do but I needed a break and here I am. I decided to sleep in this morning since I had a long week and had to work yesterday on my off Friday. Not complaining one bit.
I am so grateful that the extra work has come finally and it's come at a good time too, when everyone really needs some extra money.
I was supposed to work all day yesterday but I had a dentist appointment at noon. I was going to go back to work after my appointment but my supervisor was sending everyone home at 1:30 anyway so she told me not to bother. My appointment went fairly well. I have to get a filling replaced in a couple of weeks but everything else looked good. After that I stopped by my parents house but no one was home. I stayed about a half hour then decided to just leave a note and continued on with my errands. I had to go to the bank and then it was off to the post office to mail a package and pick up some Christmas stamps. I got home around 3pm and had just kicked off my shoes when my son called inviting me to his apartment for dinner. It sounded good to me so I jumped in the shower, took care of the dog and headed over there. It's about a 45 minute drive from my house but I took the back roads to avoid the rush hour traffic. That makes it more like an hours drive but I didn't mind because it was getting dark by then and it was nice driving through all the small towns from my house to his and seeing all the Christmas lights and decorations along the way.
Jessie made a southwestern chicken dish with rice and corn and beans. It was pretty good.
After dinner we watched Flags of Our Fathers, a movie about the guys who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. I really enjoyed the movie even though I don't really care for war movies. This movie held a particular interest, however, because Rene Gagnon, one of the Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima is a cousin of my ex husband's. He was considered a hero at the end of WWII but died a very bitter and sad man. As often happens, the horrors of war are deeply embedded in a soldiers psyche and they have a real hard time accepting and dealing with the death and carnage that they have been exposed to. The photo taken of that historic event made these men heroes and the government promised them a lot of things besides medals and parades, like jobs and celebrity, all of which never materialized in Rene Gagnon's case. He worked at the Chicopee Mill in Manchester New Hampshire after his discharge from the Marine Corps and held a lot of odd jobs. He died a very unhappy man with an alcohol problem.
I left Eric and Jessie's around 10 pm and it was lightly snowing. I took the back roads home again and took my time since it was a little slick in some spots. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed.

Today was also a busy day. I picked up some groceries first thing this morning and then came home to clean and decorate. I've been at it most of the day. I start to clean one area and then find another spot that needs cleaning, the next thing I know I have several areas partially straightened up but more of a mess than when I started. The tree is pretty much all decorated now. I can't find my porcelain angel that goes on top of my tree so I'll have to keep hunting for it. I am sure I put it someplace where it wouldn't get broken. I just have to remember where.
I've dusted and rearranged my entertainment center so I have my Christmas snow globes and shelf sitters out. I also had to find a place to display my newest snow globe that has blowing styrofoam snow inside it and a working ferris wheel. I decided to put that front and center of my coffee table. I've got a string of lights that I want to put up around the archway that separates my living room from my office area. I also brought out a new fleece blanket with a winter scene on it for the sofa. The dog usually ends up dragging that off of the back of the couch and he crawls under it when I am not at home so I picked one that won't show his white fur so much. (I'm catching on.)
I've wrapped a few gifts and set them under the tree. I wrote out some Christmas cards and got them ready for the mail on Monday. I also wrapped a gift for my friend Anne who lives in Spain so I can get that mailed on Monday too. I received a gift from her earlier in the week and that is also sitting under the tree.
I've got some mac and cheese in the oven now (yes home made not the Kraft stuff) and I am going to finish up here so I can eat when it is ready.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. I will be taking some pics tonight to post at a later date.
Oh and by the way, it got quite warm here today, 40 degrees or so. Not too bad since we barely made it to the 20's most of the week. But I suspect the cold air will be back soon and the weatherman is predicting snow, sleet and freezing rain Sunday and/or Monday. UGH

Monday, December 03, 2007

Winter Has Arrived

Snow Snow Go Away
Go to Styxie everyday!

I woke up this morning to about 4 inches of snow on the ground. I made it to work today only 15 minutes late. Not bad since it normally takes me 30 minutes to get to work on a good day and the roads hadn't even been plowed when I left this morning. I drove about 25 MPH and had to ride in the tracks of the car that went before me, otherwise I would feel my car trying to go off the road and into the ditch. The snow was coming down pretty hard this morning and I couldn't see the lines designating which lane I was supposed to be in. Luckily, there was very little traffic on the road at 4:30 am. I was very surprised that my road had not been plowed but even more surprised that the highway hadn't been touched for 6 miles. Talk about slow going. Once I hit Candia, which is the next exit west of where I live, both sides of the highway had been plowed and it made for a much easier ride. I still went very slow but at least I could see the lines on the roadway and was in no danger of veering off into another lane.

It's been snowing all day but I think we got the bulk of the accumulation during the night. Most of what has fallen during the day has been very light and I would guess only accumulated another inch or so. The roads this evening weren't too bad, much easier traveling than this morning, and I made it home in one piece. My new plow guy was just finishing the driveway when I pulled up. He said he wanted to make sure I could get in and at least park my car when I got home. Very considerate.
I shoveled the steps and in front of my mailbox, and I am in for the night. I will admit...it does look very pretty with the freshly fallen snow all over the place, especially on the tall pine trees that are all over the place here. I will try to get some picks tomorrow. It's already dark out there now.

Several people didn't show up for work today but surprisingly everyone in my department made it in. It always amazes me how so many people who live right there in town can't make it to work on a snowy day but people like me who live 22 miles away or more, make it in. And some of these people have 4 wheel drive vehicles too. I've lived in New Hampshire all my life. Driving in the snow doesn't frighten me at all...been doing it all my life.

I had a bit of bad news this morning when I got to work. One of our junior engineers was killed in a single car accident on Friday evening while he was on his way home from work. I didn't know Jordan personally but I knew of him. He always had a smile on his face. He was only 23 years old. My prayers go out to his family. It's all so very sad.

The next time I go to the doctors office, Denise, I will ask if the good doctor is single. He's Vietnamese and kind of on the small side but I would be willing to overlook that if he would give me free medical checkups. We may as well be dating, I see him enough. LOL

It's time to have some dinner and then jump in the shower. Hope you are all having a good day today. :-)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Update

Doctor's appointment went fairly well last night. Thyroid checked out alright, which was a relief. Blood pressure was up a little but not high enough to panic about. No change regarding the asthma, but that was also expected since I haven't done anything to eliminate the allergen triggers within my house. This would involve a few things that I am either not willing to do right now or not financially prepared to tackle. First, I would have to get rid of the dog. Not gonna happen unless one of the kids can take him and neither of them are in an apartment that accepts pets. Second, I would have to rip up the carpeting in the house and put down hard wood floors. Lovely idea, but I can't afford to do that at this time. Another alternative would be to pack up and move. Again, not financially possible at this time. If I was sick all the time, then I would have to take action, and deal with the money issues but I haven't felt this good for a couple of years so I think I am much better off than I was and I will cope with the occasional flare ups when they happen. The good doctor is just gonna have to deal with it. I have to go back for more blood work in 6 weeks and then he wants to see me again. UGH...when is he going to get sick of seeing me anyway? I am already sick of seeing him. LOL
I also had a flu shot while I was there and I haven't had a reaction except for a bit of a sore arm this morning. I think I will be alright.

I worked a little overtime yesterday before my appointment and was asked to go in this morning. I was all for that...it feels really good to be busy again. I didn't even mind getting up early this morning. I worked for almost 7 hours today and then went to the service station to have my car looked at. My heat has been taking a very long time to come up in the car and I replaced the thermostat just last March so I figured it was faulty. I have an extended warranty on my car so I wasn't worried about the cost, but I didn't have an appointment and we are expecting a pretty big snowstorm tomorrow so I thought I would take a chance and see if they could look at it. Brian said they were really busy but if I didn't mind waiting a bit he would try to squeeze it in and see what was happening. I went into the waiting area and prepared to sit for an hour or two. 20 minutes later he came in and told me it was all set. I was down about a half gallon of coolant so they checked for leaks, found none, and filled the coolant container. I just had my car serviced at the same place a month ago and they were supposed to top off all of my fluids. Someone forgot, apparently. Heat is running fine now so no harm no foul. I was just happy they were able to fit me in without an appointment. I try not to make a habit of doing that but when I have, they are really good about it and do what they can.

After my car was dealt with, I ran a few errands and stopped at my parents house for a quick visit. My mom was taking a nap and my dad was busy washing the kitchen floor so I stayed a few minutes and visited with my brother, then headed for Wal-Mart. I picked up a few things, and bought myself the new Eagles CD. So far I like what I have heard. I really love their harmonies.

As mentioned, we are expecting a major snowstorm tomorrow night into Monday morning. Last report stated 6 inches to a foot in some locations. Great...the storm that is hitting the mid west is on it's way. Thanks Denise for being so generous and sending it my way. :-) I took out the shovels and my window scraper and I have to drag out my boots. It's bitter cold outside right now, just 18F and very windy. The sun is already setting and it is not even 4:30.

I think I will go make a cup of tea and get some laundry done in case we lose power during the storm. The puppy also looks like he needs someone to cuddle up with. That would be me!

Laterz

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's Almost FRIDAY!

OK Kerry I got the message. I am not still full. So I will post something, even if it is short.

I spent the remainder of last weekend cleaning and organizing. I wasn't planning to, but when I got the bright idea to put up my Christmas tree, I had to rearrange a few things, which lead to rearranging and organizing a few other things. So the tree is now up and the lights are on but I still haven't decorated it, yet. This is the earliest it's been up in maybe 5 years so I think I am doing pretty well.

I've been a bit busy at work the last few days since my boss Sue has been out of work with an abscessed tooth. My manager has shown some confidence in me by asking me to pick up some of the slack and since it is a few weeks before my yearly work review, of course I jumped in with both feet. I like to consider myself a team player but I also can't help thinking that my efforts will be fresh in his mind when that time comes and it will mean some more $$$ for me. I can hope anyway.

My brothers and I had a conversation regarding Christmas presents the other night and we always say 'just buy for the kids...don't get me anything' etc etc...but no one ever sticks to that plan. So I brought up the subject of a Secret Santa this year and the feedback was quite positive. For those not familiar with Secret Santa, everyone who wants to participate, puts their name in a hat, bowl, whatever you choose, and everyone draws a name. You then buy a Christmas gift for that person. We've set a price limit to make it fair for everyone. There will be 10 of us participating and we are going to get together this weekend to draw names. Ideally it would be more fun if you don't reveal whose name you have chosen. It will make it a bit easier on the few who are having some financial difficulties and we can still have some fun with it and exchange gifts. We all get together on Christmas Eve and have a pot luck buffet, exchange gifts and then play board games or cards. This is my second favorite holiday, Thanksgiving would be the first. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful family and we all love spending time together.

It is getting colder here and I heard something about snow possibly over the weekend. It would be nice if we got some before Christmas but I really don't mind waiting a few more weeks. I guess I don't have much say in the matter. I do need to get the thermostat in my car replaced, again. It takes so long for my heat to come on and my windows to defrost. Seems to me I just had that replaced last winter, but it is under warranty so it's no money out of my wallet. I just need to make some time to get to the service department.

Back to the doctor's tomorrow. He is going to recheck my thyroid (I had the blood work done last week) and follow up on my asthma and blood pressure. I've been feeling pretty good so I am sure things will be fine. I am also going to ask for a flu shot while I am there. I had one last year and had no ill effects from it and stayed flu free so may as well do it again.

Stay warm.

~L~

Friday, November 23, 2007

I Am Still Full

Wow I ate so much yesterday, I don't think I'll eat much of anything for the next couple of days. We had the usual Turkey dinner with all the fixin's and a few extra things. I made brownies for dessert but Jessie brought home made chocolate chip cookies, and my brother's girlfriend made a Mud Cake with Pumpkin Cake, Pudding and Cool Whip. OMG I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I kept some cookies here and I scooped some Mud Cake into a big bowl and it is sitting covered in my refrigerator for another day. I can't even think of food right now.

I had a really nice day yesterday and I hope you all did too. Sara arrived Wednesday evening and I made a home made pizza for us for dinner. Afterwards, I put her to work making stuffing (I use a meat/bread stuffing combo) while I got a few other things together. We watched a little TV after and cuddled up on the couch with the dog. (Who was so very happy to have his girl here, believe me) Thursday morning I was up pretty early and got things ready. Dinner wasn't until 4 but there was still a lot of preparation to get done.
The turkey took a little longer than anticipated but we had plenty to munch on and lots of company to play cards with. There was also football on tv for those who didn't want to play cards. I think everyone ate way more than they wanted, and we had a lot of leftovers, some of which were sent home with some folks. It's always awesome to have the family together and the only one missing was my nephew Jason who was having dinner with his mother's family. I can hardly wait for Christmas Eve now.

I have already been shopping this morning. I got up at 6am and I went to Wal-Mart, and Best Buy. I bought only one item at Wal-Mart for Christmas, the rest of the stuff I bought was all for me. I should wrap it all up and give it to myself for Christmas. LOL I got some great deal on DVD's and CD's and I bought myself some PJ's and a new cordless phone. My other phone just needs a new battery but the battery costs as much as whole new phone...go figure. I also got shampoo and a shower liner, underwear and some Christmas Cards. I bought Sara some pajama's too but those are for Christmas. They have snowflakes on them and they will match the snowflake slippers I got her also.
Best Buy was having a great deal on a Toshiba laptop with printer bundle for $229. I got there around 7am and they were all gone. :-( The store in Concord had two left but that was 45 minutes away and I figured they would be gone by the time I got there. I don't NEED this laptop mind you...I just thought the price was right. Oh well...another time. I also popped into Yankee Candle and picked up a candle for Jessie and Sara and some tealights for me for my tart holder. I had a $10 off coupon if I spent $25 or more. I spent the $25...got my discount and will go back next week to use my other coupon. I love Yankee Candle, always a good bet for a Christmas gift.

I jumped in the shower when I got home, tossed a load of laundry in the washer and am now back in my PJ's having coffee, relaxing and feeling accomplished. Sara took off early and went to Brad's house for the rest of the weekend. He is now living back with his parents in Massachusetts and spent Thanksgiving there. The rest of the day is all mine to do as I wish. I plan on taking it easy for the rest of the weekend. Well, except for putting up my Christmas tree and decorating the house a bit. I want to have that done by Sunday. I think I'll put on some Christmas music and ponder that for awhile.

I am posting a couple of pics that were taken last night while we were all playing cards. Enjoy!

Lainie


Sara and Me



Jessie and Eric


Eric and Crystal

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Brrrrrrrrrr Baby It's Cold Outside

What a difference a couple of days make. Thursday it was 58 degrees outside. Today it is 39 at 1:30 pm. All the rain we got Friday here in southern New Hampshire was snow up in the mountains. I heard they got between 5-10 inches, depending on elevation. I am glad we didn't have to deal with snow but I know it is just a matter of time. The chill in the air tells the story.

The local Boy Scouts are holding their annual food drive this weekend. Last week they went door to door and dropped off plastic bags for all the residents to fill with one or several items to be picked up this weekend. All food collected will be added to the local food bank. I did my part and added several items to the bag and left it on the porch. Around 9:30 it was picked up. While I was going through my cabinets I realized that I had a lot of outdated canned goods so that got me started on a major clean up. In the last couple of hours I have filled a huge garbage bag with old spices, baking items and stuff I had forgotten I even had. I reorganized all the cabinets and then got started on my counter tops, removing everything, washing down the counters and small appliances and once again, reorganizing. I then cleaned out my freezer. That wasn't as much of a chore because it is done fairly regularly. I did go thru the fridge as well and tossed out the half emptied jars of jelly, salsa and bbq sauce that is most likely past their prime. Nice feeling of accomplishment now. I am taking a break and then I am on to the spare room to start filling my new bookcase and reorganize my books. I'm going to keep the one bookcase I have in the living room but I am going to keep my hard bound books in that one and all my paperbacks in the new one since it is a bit smaller. I have a couple of junk drawers to go through, too. I'll do that tomorrow before I start the shredder and get rid of all that stuff. Good thing I bought extra trash bags this week.

I went out last night with a couple of friends for a few hours and a few drinks. It was fun for awhile. But one of my friends brought along one of her friends and that girl (who can really toss back the rum and cokes) started getting weepy and emotional and the more she drank, the louder she got. I wish people would learn their limits and handle their alcohol better. It made a few of us uncomfortable to say the least and kind of put a damper on the rest of the evening. When she tripped and nearly knocked over another table on her way to the bathroom, I decided I was calling it a night. I came home and met up with some friends in chat...which was a fun way to end the evening. Good to see all of you and thanks to Denise for the tunes. Hopefully I will get in there again real soon.

My break is over and it is time to get back to work.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What A Pan Of Lasagna Can Do

Something interesting happened to me yesterday that has really made me sit back and think about what this crazy world has come to. I am not a paranoid person by any means, but the way the world is today, you can't be too careful. We have to be on guard at all times especially after 9/11 and other terrorist events that have befallen our country. We all know about the increased security at airports and federal buildings and we have to be aware of what we send and receive in the mail. Random acts of kindness are few and far between and those that do come our way are often questioned and discarded because you just don't know who or what might be behind it.

I got home from work yesterday and sitting on my front porch, was a large disposable aluminum pan of homemade lasagna. It was covered and obviously just baked because it was still warm. It smelled delicious. I looked around, not really sure what to think or where it had come from when I spotted a note stuck to the side of the pan. Written on a thin piece of cardboard that was torn from a box, was the following. "God Bless from a neighbor down the street Enjoy!" The handwriting doesn't look familiar to me and I really don't know many of my neighbors. My immediate thought was, 'ok where are the cameras', figuring someone from Candid Camera was going to come around the corner. I think I stood there on the porch for a couple of minutes, dumbfounded, my mind racing. Then I got a warm and fuzzy feeling, kind of like an 'Awwwwwww', thinking wow there are nice people out there. I came inside and set the lasagna down on the counter and picked up the phone, then put it down because I couldn't think of a soul who would do something like this. This definitely is a first for me. I've had a neighbor share apples from her trees, another drop off jackets for my kids that their kids had outgrown, but I always knew where these gifts came from.
I continued to contemplate where this lasagna could have come from and then I started thinking it has to be a sick joke, that perhaps it was tainted. Now I don't think I have any enemies, but hey you never know. I am thinking whoever did this, mustn't really know me, because they would know 6 pounds of lasagna would be way too much for 1 person. If a kind deed was their goal, wouldn't an entire family benefit more from this than someone who lives alone? And considering the state of the world today, why would anyone do something like this anonymously knowing that without knowing where it came from, it could possibly be thrown in the trash? All the time, money and good intentions... down the drain.
I realize that the holidays are fast approaching and these acts of kindness are the Christian thing to do. Back in the day, no one questioned it and it was most appreciated and often reciprocated. I would like to think that someone has a full heart today because they did something nice for a stranger. I would like to be able to say, "Thank you, how did you know lasagna was one of my favorite dishes? and by the way, it was delicious." I would like to be able to do something nice for someone else without causing that person to wonder what I am up to or what I want in return. Isn't it sad that I have a huge pan of lasagna in my refrigerator and I am afraid to eat it or share it because it might make someone very ill? Isn't it sad, that we have to give a wonderful gesture of faith and goodwill such serious thought and consideration? It really does make me angry that this is what the world has come to. Am I the only one who feels this way? It is all so frustrating sometimes, isn't it?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Catching Up

It's been quite awhile since my last post. I have been really tired this week for some reason, but I don't feel like I am coming down with anything. Maybe the whole time change has screwed me up a bit.

We finally got some good news at work last week and we have been keeping pretty busy all week long. Last Friday afternoon we got parts to start building towards an order that is due to ship in early January. Everyone was excited and immediately got busy. It was really good to not be looking at the clock every 5 minutes.

I finally got my desk at work last Friday and my computer on Monday. It's brand spanking new, right out of the box. I was surprised, I really thought I would be getting someone's cast off. I had to go to a PC Orientation Monday afternoon which was kind of boring. Mostly it was all about the different programs I would be using but I really find that just diving in and getting my feet wet on my own is the best way to learn. And of course, I had been using these programs on my boss's PC anyway, so I am already familiar with a lot of it.

I also heard from a very reliable source that we are going to get bonuses very soon. This is very good news, and couldn't come at a better time. Hopefully it will be enough to help with my Christmas shopping.

It looks like I might be getting a room mate soon. Sara has been thinking about giving up her apartment and moving back home for awhile so she can get a handle on her student loan payments before she starts grad school. Of course I told her it would be good for her if she lived here for a year after she graduated so she could save up some of that money but she had her own ideas. She had to find out for herself, which she did, and she admitted I was right. I think once she finds someone to take her place at the apartment she will be coming home. I do love my alone time and I know I complained about her being messy and noisy (and I will definitely complain again) but I do miss her and I know the puppy does too.

Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away and I still don't know what I am doing. I will be visiting my folks this weekend so I'm going to see what they want to do. Last year we had dinner at their house and my brother's girlfriend, my daughter and I did the bulk of the cooking and clean up so my mother didn't have to. My parents have a much bigger house than I do so it really works much better to have everyone there.

I don't think I mentioned that my niece came home from boot camp a week ago. She got really sick halfway through training and spent a week in the infirmary but they felt she would be better able to get well being back home. She can go back to basic training in 6 months but she will have to start over from day one. Seems a bit unfair but that's the way it is. She's very disappointed but looks forward to getting back into it.

It's been really cold here the last few days and nights. Definitely below freezing the last couple of nights and it is only 27 out there right now. There is 10 inches of fresh snow on Mt. Washington and it will probably snow there again tomorrow. Hopefully we won't see any here for another month or so. I still have to find someone to plow my driveway before it does snow. I will shovel if I have to but I really hate it and it is worth the $$$ to have someone plow. But I think the guy who was plowing for me last winter hit the front end of my car with his plow and he never admitted to it so I have to find someone else for the job. Two years ago he knocked down my fence while plowing and I was standing in the doorway watching him. He saw the fence fall down and just drove away...and played dumb when I called him and told him I was going to use the money I would have paid him to pay someone to fix my fence. He did offer to fix the fence for me in the spring at no charge. I told him if he fixed the fence then I would pay him what I owed him for plowing. I was born at night but not LAST night. Dumbass. LOL It's time for me to find someone else.

Well I think I will say goodnight and head for bed. I have tomorrow off but i don't have anything exciting planned. I got my grocery shopping done tonight and I will run a few errands tomorrow morning, (WallyWorld and the bank) but other than that, not much else will be going on. I want to make a pot of beef vegetable soup sometime this weekend.

Stay warm. Have a good Friday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Playing Hookey

I decided to take the day off today. I'm not sick, but I just didn't feel like spending another day doing mindless tasks to fill a 10 hour day. I could probably take the whole week off but I hate to waste a whole week when I have nothing planned. Today just seemed like a good day to take off. The weather is fairly nice and today is the Red Sox Rolling Rally Celebration in Boston to welcome and celebrate the Boston Red Sox for winning the 2007 World Series. I seriously thought about going down to Boston today but decided although it would be great to be with the crowd, I would have a better seat watching on TV.
The Rally starts at noon at Fenway Park and ends up on Chardon Street several miles through the center of Boston. The team, front office and all their families will be riding along the parade route on the Duck Boats which are renovated WWII amphibious landing vehicles that you can ride on "Duck Tours" through the city streets of Boston, and then ending the tour as you ride into the Charles River and get a tour of the city from the River. In 2004 when Boston won the World Series, the Duck Boats took the team through the city on the parade route and did take the plunge into the river but that isn't going to happen this year at the request of the players. Several fans jumped into the river to get closer to the boats and were almost hurt in 2004 so for safety reasons they decided to skip that part of the parade. It's too darn cold to be on the water today anyway. I've had the television on for the last hour and it people have been sitting out there for hours already waiting. It's a crazy scene out there and I am glad I decided to stay home.

I spent last Friday evening with Eric and Jessie and some of their friends. I didn't stay long but we had a nice dinner and it was kind of fun to catch up with some of Eric's friends from high school, several I haven't seen for many years.

The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet except for Saturday and Sunday evenings spent watching the last two games of the World Series. I stayed up until 1:30am on Sunday, well actually Monday, watching the post game festivities and I was pretty exhausted by yesterday afternoon. But it was well worth the sleep deprivation.

I'm going to get some chores done. Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Another Friday Off

Thank God It's Friday! It's been a very long week for me and I am super happy to have today off from work. Work is still slow with no immediate signs of improvement. We go day to day, waiting for something to change. I was told by my manager that we would be getting the OK to start on our next contract sooner than expected but still couldn't get a more definitive date out of him. He told me sometimes they negotiate these contracts for up to a month before getting a signature and then it could take anywhere from 30 to 90 days before we can get the parts in house to start production. I'll be insane by January so I hope it will be more like 30 days. Yesterday Cyndie and I played our own version of Scattergories to help pass the time. It actually helped make the day go by a bit quicker and we got to exercise our last remaining brain cell.

I've also been deeply involved with Post Season Baseball. That means a lot of late nights since the games don't start until 8:00. Translated: after all the pre game BS the first pitch isn't until 8:35 or so and being on prime time and nationally televised, there are more commercials too so we're talking at least a 4 hour broadcast. It's at least midnight before I get to bed, unless I fall asleep during the game which doesn't happen very often. Good thing I don't need to be awake at work for anything these days. My Red Sox are winning the series 2 games to 0 right now over the Colorado Rockies but we go to Denver tomorrow and that should give the Rockies a bit of inspiration to have their home crowd behind them.

I haven't been too busy with much else these days. I had a mammogram last week which was normal (yay me) and did a little shopping last weekend for Eric's birthday present. Jessie got him tickets to the New England Patriots game on Sunday for his birthday so I got him a Randy Moss Jersey to wear. I am sure he will like it because he collects things like that. I also got Sara a baseball tee shirt with her favorite players name on the back because they were all on sale. I am going back this morning to pick up a couple of different ones to put away for Christmas gifts.
I also need to stop by Wal Mart and pick up Bo's new CD. Been waiting for that for like forever.

Jessie is having a small gathering for Eric's birthday tonight so that will keep me busy for the evening. He will be 25 on Monday. Wow. That's all I can say.

Sara took her entrance exam for Graduate School last Saturday. I know it has a name but I can't remember it for the life of me now. It is like taking the SAT but only for post graduate work. She said she didn't do as well as she wanted but hopefully it will be enough for her to get into school. She is looking into either the University of Southern Maine or going back to the University of New Hampshire. Both have a program she is interested in. It would be cheaper and more convenient for her to go back to UNH so hopefully that will work out for her.

It's a little chilly here in New Hampshire this morning. My thermometer says 37 degrees and it is 8:15 am. A couple of mornings ago it was 58 at 5am. Mother Nature can't make up her mind I guess. That's ok, as long as it doesn't snow, I can deal.

It's shower time. I plan on getting an early start this morning so I can get my errands out of the way and have the afternoon to relax before heading to Eric and Jessie's tonight. I've had some oatmeal and an english muffin so I am ready to rock and roll.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

October Already

It's been awhile, I know. Not much to talk about but I have been reading and commenting on everyone's blogs.

As you probably know, October is baseball Post Season time. One of my favorite times of the year, for sure. And this year especially because my beloved Red Sox are in the Post Season. So far so good. They swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday, 3 games to 0. NICE!! I really didn't think it would be that easy. However, the next series begins on Friday against the Cleveland Indians (who beat the snot out of the New York Yankees YAY!!). This could be a more challenging series for the Sox but I am confident they will come out with guns blazing since they will have had almost a weeks worth of rest. Reports on the 6:00 news tonight state that the players are itching to get going and are more than ready to play. I can't wait.

Work is still slow although I've had a few odd jobs to do the last few days. Just 2 more days this week and another long weekend. I'm looking forward to it, although the weather could make some of my plans a bust. I was hoping to take another ride up into the mountains on Saturday with Paul but it may be rainy. Just going to have to wait and see. I may go on Sunday even if I have to go alone. Paul won't leave the sanctuary known as his living room on Sunday's during football season. (Damn men.)

I finally got the results back from the ultrasound done on my thyroid a few weeks ago and although the news isn't all bad, it's still something I am going to have to keep an eye on. I have a benign cyst and right now it isn't very big or bothersome. But I will have to have another ultrasound done in a few months and my doctor wants to keep watch on things. If it isn't one thing, it's another. I feel like I am slowly falling apart.

I received a letter from my niece Crystal on Saturday. So far she is really liking the military and she said boot camp isn't as bad as she thought it would be (so far). She is expected to graduate in mid November and is hoping to be home for Thanksgiving before getting her school assignment.

That's about it for now. It's about time for my shower and then a little tv time before I go to bed. I've been a bit tired all day so I expect I will be asleep pretty early tonight.

~L~

Sunday, September 30, 2007

North Conway

Good Morning

It's a crisp and chilly morning (49 degrees F last time I looked) but the sun is out and the birds and other assorted critters are chirping up a storm out there. I went out on the deck to have my coffee but a major case of chattering teeth and goosebumps got me back inside.

Yesterday was a really nice day here and Eric and I went up to North Conway to check out what Mother Nature was doing up there. I called him earlier in the day to see if I could stop by on my way back from the mountains to drop off a few things and he asked if I could just pick him up on my way up north and he would go along for the ride. We decided to make a sight seeing/shopping trip out of it since there is an Outlet Mall in North Conway. His girlfriend Jessie has a birthday coming up in a few weeks so it sounded like a good idea to have him with me to give me some ideas on what to get her.
I picked him up around noon and we had a very good time. I really enjoy the one on one time I have with each of my kids because that's when I really find out what's going on with them, what they are thinking about, what plans they are making, and all this is done without prying. We've always had an open and communicative relationship and they always feel comfortable discussing things with me. I think because I listen and I am supportive without being intrusive, they just open up. Eric is the quiet one, thoughtful, a bit pensive. He's not one for small talk but once you get him interested in something, he's full of ideas and opinions. We talked about everything from baseball and football to purchasing a home. (I may have a buyer when I am ready to sell my house.) It is so rewarding to see that my baby boy is thinking and talking like a grown up, which is a good thing since he is almost 25. :-)
I was a little disappointed that the foliage up there wasn't more advanced but we did stop in Tamworth at Chocorua Lake and I took a few photos. I might go up to Lake Winnipesaukee in another week or so. I am sure the colors will be much brighter by then.
We stopped at the Outlet Mall and it was pretty crowded but I found a place to park right off. I am not sure how many stores they have there but we walked around for about an hour and a half and I know we probably only saw half of them. I ended up blowing most of my money at the Yankee Candle shop but I got some really good deals. I picked up a birthday gift for Rose while I was there and since Jessie loves decorating for the holidays and other events I got her a really cute ceramic candle holder for Halloween. It had ghosts and scarecrows and pumpkins all around it and Eric thinks she will love it. It was only $15 so I also got her a seasonal candle to go with it. We then stopped at a bookstore and I found a book that I am sure Rose will enjoy so I was very lucky to be able to get all of that done. The only birthday gift left is Eric's and I have all month to pick that up.
Eric couldn't find anything he liked for Jessie but he enjoyed shopping for himself. (Another thing I didn't know about my son.) He really liked the Bass factory outlet and picked up a couple of fleece pullovers and 2 sweatshirts for work. Everything was 40% off and since he has a $200 clothing allowance at work, he will be reimbursed and still have money leftover to pick up some pants.
We stopped for dinner on the way home and Eric convinced me to try some calamari, which I swore I would never eat. It wasn't bad. I think what I ate were the rings or the suction cups as Eric called them, but I drew the line at eating the tentacles.
The rest of dinner was pretty good and we left there pretty full. I dropped him off at his apartment and then started for home myself.

Along the way I was thinking about dropping by Sara's place which is only 10 minutes away from where Eric lives. I was about to give her a call when my phone started ringing. It was a bit weird seeing my own phone number come up on the caller ID. I didn't know the dog could actually dial the phone. Sara was there visiting and was wondering where I was. I told her I was at her house wondering the same thing. LOL
I was about 45 minutes away but she agreed to stick around so I went on home. She stayed a couple of hours and we had a nice visit. It was pretty much a perfect day.

I've added a few pictures from yesterday's adventure including one at the lake where an old guy was actually going for his daily swim. Mind you it was only about 60 degrees when we were there but he says he goes in every day until the end of October and he finds it very invigorating. Yeah ok...well that's one word to describe it. LOL I personally think he's crazy. You can tell the leaves are just starting to change and it will be absolutely gorgeous in another week or two.







Friday, September 28, 2007

It's F R I D A Y !!!

Good Morning. Happy Friday to you!

It sure feels good not having to go to work today. My week has been exceptionally long and I surely am looking forward to not having to deal with the BS for a few days. It's been a week since I did the physical inventory and still...no one seems to see that we have over 400 units that have to be shipped by the end of October and we have very few parts to build with. I don't understand how they run their stock room or how the planners and purchasers have managed to keep their jobs but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that no parts means no builds and eventually that will mean no business. We have 7 people in our department alone with little or nothing to do. Yet, my manager seems to be turning a blind eye to that. One girl who sits in the corner of the room keeps a paperback book on her work bench and has done quite a bit of reading the last few weeks. Another does word search puzzles to pass the time. I've started taking walks through the building just to kill some time. It all makes no sense to me. We keep hearing about all this work we have but I've yet to see it.
Yesterday the CEO provided a BBQ lunch for us all to celebrate a huge contract that they got with the Marine Corps. We had burgers and dogs, mac salad, cole slaw, Italian sausages, chicken and all the fixins. They also had strawberry shortcake and chocolate cake for dessert. The food was really good and we took our sweet time eating and relaxing afterwards. No one was in any hurry to get back to work, that's for sure. The benefit from all that was the rest of the afternoon went by a bit better because we were all hyped up from the sugar.

I did my grocery shopping after work so I could just get it out of the way. I have to get the dog's nails clipped this morning and then I am going to visit my parents. This afternoon I am going to the hospital to visit my friend Elaine who has been there since Sunday. She has been having a lot of dizziness and says the room keeps spinning out of control, so badly that she is nauseous and can't stand up or walk without losing her balance. She's been diagnosed with Meniere's disease which is an abnormality of the inner ear with symptoms similar to vertigo. She had a bad fall a few years ago and broke a small bone in her inner ear which the doctors feel is the root of all of her problems. She was able to walk with a walker for 65 paces yesterday but they aren't going to let her go home until she can get up and walk unassisted and without all of the dizziness. The medications she is on make her a bit loopy too so I don't think they are going to want her to be home alone.

I was watching the news last night and they showed some photos of the foliage way up in Northern New Hampshire. Looks really nice up there! I am thinking I should take a drive either Saturday or Sunday and have a look for myself. The weather is supposed to be better tomorrow so I'm going to put the word out and see if I can get someone to come along with me. If not, I will go alone. I have no problems with that.

Monday I have someone coming to clean my furnace. I purposely made the appointment for early in the morning so I won't be tied to the house all day and I can take off and go after he is done. I also have to get over to my son's apartment sometime this weekend and drop off some mail and things that belong to him.

In my preparations for winter, I had the oil changed in my car and all of the fluids changed and/or topped off. I also had my septic tank sumped out last week. I have a tank full of heating oil and I have 500 additional gallons paid for and on reserve. So I am pretty much good to go for winter. Now all I need is to pay my taxes in December. Then I will be totally broke. :-(

We had heavy rain and severe thunderstorms all through the night but the sun is trying to break through the clouds right now. It may shape up to be a nice day afterall.

One of the biggest county fairs is going on this weekend in Deerfield, NH. The fairgrounds are about 12 miles from my house and there's usually a lot of traffic around Deerfield and my town. I am sure it's going to be a mad house around here all weekend especially since the weather is going to co-operate. I will be staying as far away from the fairgrounds as humanly possible since I really have no desire to be stuck in traffic and I am not a huge fan of the enormous crowds.

It's time to jump in the shower and get my butt in gear. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This and That

Boy am I glad to have a couple of days off from work. Even with my added computer duties, I am bored out of my mind. Thursday morning I took it upon myself to do a complete physical inventory of all the parts we have on the line. I was very thorough. I collected every wire and screw and counted them all by hand, no scales involved. Which wasn't so bad because we really didn't have that much on the line to begin with. How could we since we are all doing something other than what we are supposed to do? The reason for our lack of parts is mostly because we finished our government contract and we don't have another set in stone just yet to begin working on. I have heard all sorts of rumors but nothing with a signature on it and without that, no one is going to issue parts. Makes sense. We also have a few small orders floating around that we work on sporadicly but again, nothing for the future so material control isn't going to give us parts if there isn't an order to ship it against. It's ridiculous, really. The company is losing tons of money with all these people out of work. Some have been temporarily transferred to other departments but there are a lot of departments in my building who are in the same boat we are in. Anyway, I finished the inventory by lunch time and then got started on the scrap. I collected everyone's scrap from their work stations, separated it, bagged it then logged it. By the end of the day I turned it into my bosses office so she can turn it in and get replacement parts. That should keep a few people busy for maybe an hour or so.

I decided to put in for a vacation day and get some things done around the house that I have been putting off. One thing is to get my furnace cleaned before winter sets in. The other thing I need done is to have my septic tank cleaned out. I made an appointment for the furnace for October 1st and hopefully on Monday I can get a hold of the septic dude and get him to come on the same day. I will also see about getting the dog's nails done that afternoon. I have almost 100 hours of vacation time to use and I think I have 50 hours of sick time on the books too. May as well make use of some of it.

I got up this morning and it was gloomy and rainy outside so I went back to bed. When I woke up a couple hours later, the sun was shining and it was getting warm. I made some coffee and read a magazine for awhile, then watched Survivor OnDemand. I had the show on Thursday evening but got a phone call just as it started so I ended up missing most of it. I think it's going to be an interesting show this season, in China. I like James, the Gravedigger, and John Robert, the poker player. Of course they both are strong and have leadership qualities...which usually means the targets will be on their backs.

The leaves are starting to change around here and every time the wind blows, it looks like it is raining yellow, brown and red. Parts of my back yard are covered in leaves while other sections are still showing signs of green grass. Acorns are ALL over the place. Definitely an abundant supply for the squirrels and chipmunks this winter and believe me, they have been gathering as much as they can carry. I've seen a lot of activity around the back yard the last week or so. That usually means we will be in for a rough winter. We shall see.

I bought all the ingredients to bake bread so I think I will go get busy doing that. It's easy but time consuming so I can get the dough made and while it is going through the rising process, I can get my housework done. Maybe. The Red Sox don't play until tonight and I am not into college football so there shouldn't be a whole lot to distract me. But when it comes to housework, I am easily distracted.

Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Busy Busy Weekend

It's been a very busy weekend and I am exhausted. I am looking forward to my bed tonight, no doubt about that!

The family and I had a blast Friday night at Crystal's going away party. There were 15 of us in all and Crystal was very happy that we all were there. She's nervous, as expected, but anxious to get the ball rolling. There was plenty of chinese food to go around and pretty fruity drinks were had by all. I know there is a group photo on someone's camera and as soon as I get a copy of one I will post it. For now, here are a few shots that I took.


Crystal's sister Shana, my nephew Sean, my brother Henry, my dad, Jacqueline and my brother Dave, my son Eric




my daughter Sara, my mom, Crystal, Crystal's other grandmother, Crystal's stepfather Al and Crystal's mother Robin


Crystal

After the party I went over to see Paul. He was going to go to the party but ended up staying on the job site late to finish up since it was going to rain on Saturday and he wouldn't be able to work. He left this morning for Albany, NY on another job and will be gone for most of the week. :-( Gotta make hay while the sun shines. It will soon be winter which is a very slow season for him work wise, so may as well take the work while he can get it.

I went to Maine on Saturday. Good company, good food, I had a lot of fun. It's always good to see my other family up there. Rick and Blossom always make me feel like I am at home. I'm not considered company anymore. :-) Dinner was fantastic. Rick made his delicious spaghetti sauce and we had pasta and garlic bread, and Pup Pup made a huge pot of chili which was very yummy. Tweetie, Pup, Gene and Nikki were there and Mazz stopped by for a quick visit. There were a few other friends of Ricks and some family members also popped in for dinner and a visit. We stayed up late drinking and talking, (and laughing a LOT).

I got home today around 2pm and did my laundry, made some dinner and I am pretty much ready to hit the sheets. A very busy and FUN weekend.

~L~

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Trying to catch up

It's been awhile, I know, and I haven't been super busy this week but I also haven't had a lot to talk about. Not much happening this side of the country, except the weather has been a little weird. Last weekend we were enjoying (matter of opinion of course) 95 degree weather with humidity and today is barely made it to 70 and was windy and cool. Saturday was the worst, 95 at least and very humid. I pretty much stayed inside all day since I wasn't feeling all that great anyway. Nothing I can point my finger on, just feeling lazy, tired, just under the weather I guess. I was in bed by 8pm and was up before 5am Sunday morning. I made breakfast since I hadn't eaten dinner the night before and I was pretty hungry, and watched Brokeback Mountain on HBO. I popped into chat Sunday morning to listen to someone's Inspirational Stream, (y'all can guess who)and after watching everyone go into shock, enjoyed the music and everyone's company for a bit.

I did some cleaning and roasted a chicken in the afternoon while switching between the baseball and football games. That was pretty much my day, had dinner around 5, finished reading my book, and watched TV.

The week hasn't been any more exciting. We had rain all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday but it cleared up today. Cool tough, but good for sleeping. Work has picked up just a little bit and I've been able to keep busy doing my job and helping Sue with a lot of the data entry. My manager is impressed and has ordered another computer so Sue doesn't have to share hers with me. Hopefully in a week or so I will have my own computer set up on the production floor. Just one more step to a promotion I am thinking. :-)

Friday night is my niece's going away party. As you may know, Crystal has joined the Navy and is leaving for boot camp on September 18th. She's very excited and I think this will be a really good adventure for her. She wanted to go to college but decided that joining the Navy would be a good way to get a college education and see the world a bit all at the expense of Uncle Sam. The Navy is probably the safest for her right now with Iraq going on and all because she won't be allowed on a sub and the Navy is patrolling the seaports and not immediately involved in combat. Anyway, the party is being held at a Chinese food restaurant near my brother's house and it promises to be a good time. I plan on having my share of Mai Tai's. :-) I will con one of my kids into taking pics...since I really suck at it.

I have been invited to Maine to see the Mainiacs on Saturday. I am seriously thinking about going. It's always a good time, that's for sure.

OK I am heading for the sofa. Hope you are all enjoying the week so far.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm baaaack!

Howdy Howdy. Hope you all had a fantastic weekend. The weather sure was great on the East Coast, that's for sure. Hot and sunny during the day and cool at night. Just perfect in my book and so far this week has been pretty much the same.

My trip to Jersey was good. The drive went pretty well until I got to New York City. Of course I tried my best to get there before rush hour traffic but I should have left home an hour or so earlier because everyone seemed to have the same plan and I got stuck in traffic several times along the route, particularly in the Providence, Rhode Island and New Haven, Connecticut areas. I also missed a turn somewhere on the highway in the NYC area and ended up going over 4 of the 5 Borough bridges which were also quite congested. That wonderful screw up added another hour to my travel time. I did figure out on my return trip what I did wrong and made the trip home in 5 hours instead of 6.5. I won't make that mistake again, I can assure you. I thought driving in Boston was bad but getting through the NYC area is pure HELL. I didn't even venture off the highway and go into the city. That would be insanity. Even staying on the highway I went past the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The only place I didn't get a view of was Harlem, which I am really all set with.

I've been to Jersey before but not this part of Jersey. My friend lives in Elizabeth which is right across the the Goethals Bridge. Once I made it out of Manhattan, I was at his apartment building in less that 15 minutes. I could have kissed the New Jersey soil but I really had to use the bathroom. I had already been on the phone and told him to open the door and clear a path cos emptying my bladder was my number 1 priority. We could hug and all that fun stuff after I went pee. :-)

After a tour of the apartment, we sat down and talked for hours. I hadn't seen Kenny in quite a few years and had never met his room mate, Ron, so we had a lot of catching up to do. Kenny is a friend from school and he's lived in and around NYC for over 25 years. He's done all kinds of interesting artsy things like acting in several small stage productions and he's played in a couple of rock bands, he's worked in a museum, waited tables and worked in a deli. He also helped an ex girlfriend get started on her freelance sculpting and painting career by introducing her to some key people and setting her up in Central Park sketching, painting and displaying her art for sale.
Before we knew it, it was after 8pm and we were all getting hungry. Kenny got started on his delicious homemade mac and cheese and Ron kept me company by showing me a photo album filled with his family's pictures and photos of his vacation last winter in Mexico.
After dinner it was really warm in the apartment so Kenny and I went for a walk around town. I was ever so grateful since I am not a fan of the heat. They have a small 2 bedroom apartment and the heat from the kitchen really warmed up the entire place. By the time we got back it was almost midnight and had cooled off quite a bit.
Ron was kind enough to give up his bed for the weekend and he had already made up the futon in the living room and was just about asleep by the time we got back. I headed off to bed myself...but of course I was in a strange place with lots of city noises and I had a hard time falling asleep. I think it was well after 2am by the time my eyes closed.

We were up around 8 and Ron headed off to work. Kenny wanted to take me down to the open air market before it got too hot so off we went. It was crowded but a lot of fun and wow soooo much food. We bought all kinds of veggies for a salad for Saturday night's dinner and had fresh bagels and cream cheese at a little bakery for breakfast. I also bought a fresh loaf of bread. It was right out of the oven and still pretty hot. Oh Lord it smelled sooooo good. We went back to the car and loaded it up, then took a walk to the park down by the river. He's used to walking everywhere and riding the trains and subways. I am used to sitting my fat ass in my car and driving everywhere. I have to admit, it wasn't long before my legs were ready to fall off. I would never survive in the city.

Saturday afternoon we watched the New York Yankees baseball game on television. (Yuck) LOL OK I love baseball but I am a Red Sox fan and Red Sox fans HATE the Yankees. It was very difficult sitting through that and watching the Yankees win and listening to Kenny brag about how wonderful they are compared to the Red Sox. We will see who wins the World Series next month and I will bet it won't be the Yankees!

Saturday night we made up the salad and Ron brought home steaks and grilled them for dinner. They were delicious, and I have to admit, I was liking the thought of two men doing all the cooking for me. I definitely was Queen for the weekend.

Sunday Kenny and I went back to the park by the river because they were having a Riverfest type of thing and a free concert going on that afternoon. There were a couple of local bands set to play and several booths were set up selling crafts and food and some of the local businesses were promoting their services. Definitely a party atmosphere and we stayed most of the afternoon walking around and listening to the music. There's nothing like really good cheap entertainment. Before going home, we met Ron and his friend Gina and her 2 girls for pizza. Gina said I looked like I was ready to drop. I have to admit, I was exhausted but I had a blast.

Monday morning I had a quick breakfast and hit the road by 11am. I got detailed written directions out of the city without having to go through Staten Island and I was grateful for that. The drive home was actually quite uneventful but I was really happy to see my exit. I was more happy to see my puppy, who greeted me with lots of kisses when I walked in the door. (Eric was sweet enough to come over every day and feed him and take him out for a walk.) I got home around 4pm, took a shower and got the laundry started. I slept like a baby Monday night and hated to get up Tuesday (and today for that matter) to go to work. I hope to get to bed earlier tonight so I can catch up on my sleep.

Oh and while I was gone, someone took a baseball bat to my mailbox. There is a nice dent on the side and I had to bend part of the door back into shape so the door would stay closed. My dad bought me this mailbox last Christmas after my old one was beaten to a pulp by another bat. A few years ago I had to replace my original mailbox because someone hit it with their car and destroyed it. I don't know which is worse...the mailbox vandals or the egg throwers. Either way, it ends up costing me money. If I ever catch one of those little so and so's...I will use their bats on their own heads.

Ok Time to make some dinnah!

Have a good evening, everyone and enjoy the wonderful weather!